Tuna and Fennel Polpette

Cook time 1 hour and 15 minutes
Servings 4


60ml Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 medium fennel bulb (about 300g), cut into 6 wedges, fronds reserved

1 large brown onion, cut into 6 wedges

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 x 185g can of tuna in spring water, drained

1 cup of fresh breadcrumbs

80g parmesan, grated

2 tbsp pine nuts

1 egg

500g tomato passata

Salt and pepper

Tuna and Fennel Polpette


Preheat the oven to 180°C. Add the fennel and onion wedges to a tray and drizzle over 1 tbsp of the extra virgin olive oil. Season with salt and roast for 25-30 minutes or until tender and slightly caramelised, 5 minutes before the end of cooking add pine nuts to toast.

Reserve 1/2 the onion for later and add the remainder to a food processor along with the fennel and pine nuts and 1 garlic clove. Pulse 3-4 times to finely chop and then add the breadcrumbs, parmesan and egg. Season with salt and pepper and pulse again until a rough ‘mince’ forms. Add the tuna and pulse 1-2 times, so it is just combined.

Wet your hands with water (this will make rolling easier) and divide the mixture into walnut-sized balls. Place polpette onto the baking tray and drizzle a little more extra virgin olive oil over. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until golden.

In the meantime, finely chop the reserved onion and place in to a sauté pan with a tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil. Fry for a minute along with the remaining garlic and then add the passata. Add a splash of water and season to taste and cook for 15 -20 minute, or until thick and rich. Once the fennel and tuna polpette are cooked place in the sauce and coat. Garnish is fennel fronds and serve with toasted sourdough.